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England vs Georgia

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Nov 2020, 8:27 am

First topic message reminder :

I'll be lazy and just half inch the BBC article!

'Back in January, Eddie Jones warned his players of the curse of the beaten World Cup finalists.
The England boss was wary his side could be vulnerable in 2020 after the emotional and mental toll the tournament in Japan had taken.
Jones' concerns looked justified after England were swept aside by a hungry France a matter of days later, a result which scuppered their chances of a Grand Slam.
Given that early setback, it was no surprise to see Jones glowing over a Zoom call on Sunday after England followed the Paris humbling with four straight wins - over the course of almost nine months - to seal a third Six Nations title in five years.
"I prepared the team poorly for the French game," Jones reflected, taking the focus of defeat away from his players, a familiar tactic.
"But their approach to the rest of the tournament has been outstanding, they got on with the job and not looked for any sort of excuse - regardless of what has happened - and played good, tough, hard rugby, which is what you need to do to win the Six Nations."

The title, coming almost a year to the day after the World Cup final defeat by South Africa, further establishes England as one of the dominant forces in the world game.
France, though, were arguably the most impressive side in the tournament and can feel unlucky not to have pipped England to the championship, with Owen Farrell's late penalty in Paris, which grabbed a losing bonus point, ultimately proving decisive.
While no-one can blame England for ensuring they left the Stade de France with something for their efforts, it feels unpalatable that in a great tournament like the Six Nations - where victory is everything and defeat nothing - a side can be rewarded for losing.
Either way, rather than wait until England and France meet again next year, a rematch in the final of the Autumn Nations Cup at the start of December is a real possibility; a clash that could bring priceless profile to the fledgling tournament.


More new faces for Nations Cup?

On that note, it is typical of Jones' mindset that a matter of hours after finally finishing the Six Nations, he was already turning his attention to England's Nations Cup opener against Georgia.
After looking after business in Rome, admittedly in scratchy fashion, what can we expect from England in that fixture, and the Nations Cup as a whole? Selection will be fascinating as Jones juggles with the unprecedented depth he has at his disposal in certain positions.
Wasps' Jack Willis will get a taste of international rugby soon, even though he is in competition with some outstanding flankers, while Exeter's giant lock Jonny Hill has capitalised on Courtney Lawes' injury and George Kruis' unavailability to stake his claim to be a regular partner to the extraordinary Maro Itoje.
It's understood fly-half George Ford will be back fit either for Georgia or Ireland a week later, while it will be intriguing to find out if Jones sees Wasps uncapped pivot Jacob Umaga as a genuine alternative to the Ford and Owen Farrell duopoly at number 10.

England's Autumn Nations Cup fixtures
14 November: England v Georgia, 15:00 GMT at Twickenham
21 November: England v Ireland, 15:00 GMT at Twickenham
28 November: Wales v England, 16:00 GMT at Parc y Scarlets
6 December: Finals weekend - England v TBD, 14:00 GMT at Twickenham

Max Malins is a player who many fans would want to see get a game at full-back, given his brilliance with Bristol since the restart, while Worcester's Ollie Lawrence will be handed his chance to start after making his debut off the bench in Rome.
The playmaking combination of Farrell and centres Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph struggled to fire at the Stadio Olimpico, with England opting to kick a lot of ball in the first half.
With all of England's best performances in the past two years coming with Manu Tuilagi in the midfield, questions linger over how reliant Jones' side are on the Sale man's dynamism and direction.
Tuilagi is out injured for the foreseeable future, so can the 21-year-old Lawrence, himself a power athlete, fill that void? He surely will get some more exposure over the course of November.
"The game is very much about power at the moment," Jones said last month.
"Particularly for outside backs, you need at least one of those powerful players. Previously we have had Manu, so Ollie has an opportunity there to show his worth."


What it means to win your first cap

Lawrence and fellow debutant Ollie Thorley were both given a decent-length run-out off the bench against Italy, but slipping under the radar was a first cap for Bath hooker Tom Dunn, who came on for the excellent Jamie George a couple of minutes from the end of the game.
At the age of 27, Dunn has had to bide his time. Earlier this year, he had been involved in as many as seven England camps without being capped, and was even placed on standby for a matchday squad in January, before being denied a debut when Luke Cowan-Dickie became available again.
So to see a video on England Rugby's in-house channels of Dunn Facetiming home from the stadium after finally winning that elusive cap, fighting back the tears, would have warmed the heart of all England supporters. Good things come to those who wait.'

Despite the stupid comments about unpalatably playing to the rules from the author this does set out some of the choices to be made by Jones. Personally I think the interesting ones come at fly half and full back. I'd like to see Malins at 10 and Watson dropping back with the introduction of Thorley. Slade to get another run at 12 with Lawrence.

I think we'll see Umaga 10 Malins at 15.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 05 Nov 2020, 2:51 pm

king_carlos wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:i agree KC. Ted HIll is one i really want to see come through. Hes a genuine 6 and sheer physical beast, that i think we've missed on the flanks for a while...and a reason they keep playing the locks in there.

Earls is class. Willis has insane potential...etc

Just so many options to look at.  
I really rate Hill as I've said many times. His physicality is a point of difference. He dominates contact in a similar way to Underhill and Curry when they broke through. Difference with Hill is he does so in attack and defence. Underhill and Curry are incredible tacklers but solid carriers. Vunipola is a brute carrying but a solid defender. Hill can dominate contact with and without the ball. Sometimes that brute force gets found out at international level but I think there's more to his game than only smashing people.

Earl is simply rapid for a flanker which could add to our attack and kick chase for obvious reasons. The chase and offload for Slade's try typifies his attacking game. Given that Earl is on the wing with May inside of Slade the backline isn't really set for that grubber but Earl's pace makes it a walk in.

Yes he is physical in both aspects of attack AND defence. Thats why id like to see him involved this Autumn. And he is a lineout option...and Captain.

Earl gives you options from the back row many others cant. Because his general flanker game is extremely good aswell..he has some engine...tackles ...but then has that pace like Simmonds.

EJ has a big job to decide which back row will eventually be his go to for the big games. Curry is set in stone (at the moment)

But then who.
Billy V has been a mainstay...but one injury could see him gone and not getting back in.
Underhill is a young powerhouse in defence...but Ted Hill is a young Massive powerhouse in Defence AND attack.
Willis...offers strong defence, big carrying and incredible breakdown work.
Earl...as above.

I wouldnt like to have to make the choice. But i guess due to the nature of those positions...its rare that you get everyone fit for every game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 05 Nov 2020, 2:58 pm

isn't nice that we now have genuine discussion across our traditional (at least last 10 years) weak spots. Back row, scrum half, inside centre and full back more recently all have some great players coming through. comparing to the care cupboards at 7 a few years ago, well done to the academies.

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Post by Cumbrian on Thu 05 Nov 2020, 3:02 pm

I’m going to seem impossibly boring, but I would like to see a degree of consistency so that the new guys can bed in with players that they are likely to play with.  Plus, they looked so disjointed in the Italy game that I would like the majority to get a proper run out again.

01. Mako Vunipola
02. Jamie George
03. Will Stuart
04. Jonny Hill
05. Joe Launchbury
06. Jack Willis
07. Tom Curry
08. Billy Vunipola

09. Dan Robson
10. Jacob Umaga

11. Ollie Thorley
12. Owen Farrell
13. Ollie Lawrence
14. Jonny May
15. Anthony Watson

16. Tom Dunn (get at least 1 half of rugby)
17. Ellis Genge
18. Kyle Sinkler
19. Ted Hill (covering both back and second rows)
20. Ben Earl
21. Ben Youngs (would have preferred Mitchell, but he does not appear to be included.)
22. Max Malins
23. Joe Cokanasigna
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Post by Yoda on Thu 05 Nov 2020, 9:10 pm

With the talk on hill, would a move to international 8 make sense? Cj stander I think played as a 6 before moving to 8? Hill is born to carry and seems fitter than dombrant but dombrant runs better lines. 8 is a very technical position I know but is Hill adaptable to play there so we could have a dynamic backrow with all skills covered? Just throwing a thought out there.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 8:25 am

Yoda...ive said that very thing on this board for the last year.

He looks the perfect template for 8. Even Solomons has said he just reminds him of a young Duane Vermuelan.

i would be looking to make that happen...then you have a beast at 8 and can plan your flankers around that.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 9:23 am

Has he ever played there for Worcester? Seen him cover at lock. Not a huge fan of throwing someone into what is a specialist position for the scrum. Was it France this year where we had an advancing scrum on 5 metres and Curry lost control of it? Can of course happen even to the best number 8s but i'd rather that job was learnt in club rugby.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 9:25 am

I've always been in the camp of not caring what shirt numbers players wear as long as there's balance so Hill playing blindside with Curry wearing 8 really wouldn't bother me if it worked. Curry struggled at the base against France but by the Wales game he was fine there. The speed he improves areas of his game when needed is remarkable as seen previously in the lineout and carrying.

I think that Hill getting a chance is important as he is the closes thing we have to challenging/replacing Billy's physicality ball in hand which has become integral to the game plan. Whether it's at 6 or 8 is less important in my opinion.

Number 8 pick and gos at the scrum are becoming rarer. Occasionally on either 5m line you see one. If a side putting in at a scrum near the opposition try line get the upper hand the 8 will often pick and go to keep that momentum. If a scrum is under pressure having put in on their own 5m line the number 8 will usually pick and go just to get the ball out and set-up the exit. Outside of that it's less of a weapon these days with the scrum usually being used to launch the backs and phase play now the offside line at the scrum has been pushed back.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 9:29 am

Theres a few 8's who started out on the flank and learned 8. Im sure even Dallaglio was a flanker who then moved to 8.

Id be interested to see it.

But yes for the moment, i just want to see him get some run outs and what he can bring to the side.

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 9:59 am

Dallaglio was a flanker who burst onto the scene through Sevens as much as that seems ridiculous now!

He first played 8 for the Lions rather than England. Rodber, Diprose, etc being the number 8s. He was already captain by the time he moved to number 8 with Back breaking through to join Hill. In 1999 he made his last international start at flanker though and made all his test starts at 8 after that.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 10:07 am

king_carlos wrote:Dallaglio was a flanker who burst onto the scene through Sevens as much as that seems ridiculous now!

He first played 8 for the Lions rather than England. Rodber, Diprose, etc being the number 8s. He was already captain by the time he moved to number 8 with Back breaking through to join Hill. In 1999 he made his last international start at flanker though and made all his test starts at 8 after that.

I remember it well...and still have the actual World cup magazine. They won the world cup...him Rodber, Sheasby Harriman etc.

I thought Dalaglio had come through as a 7 initially, although that doesnt say much in the time when all the back rowers were 6'5..remember the back row of Ben Clarke, Dean Richards and Tim Rodber. That was collosal.

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Post by Poorfour on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 11:34 am

Dallaglio - like Hill - played 6, 7, and 8 for England but - unlike Hill - started on the flanks and reshaped himself into an 8 after knee injuries lost him a yard of pace. Hill was more of a natural 7 but played out of position to accommodate Back and was still arguably the world's best in the 6 shirt until his own knee injuries.

The base of the scrum thing is very much like fielding high balls at fullback. Most of the time, you can get away with being OK at it, but every so often it happens in a high pressure situation and it is costly if you flub it.

When you have a 5m attacking scrum, I'd much prefer to have an 8 who regularly packs down at 8 for their club than a talented flanker playing out of position. 6 and 7 are more interchangeable these days, but 8 is one of those "spine" positions where having a specialist can make a difference at crucial moments.
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Post by Mr Bounce on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 11:37 am

Clarke and Rodber - two massive and very underrated players for England. Not much got past either of them. I seem to remember Rodber ending his International career as a lock in SCW's '99 squad?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 12:08 pm

I put in a cracking hit on Tim Rodber once up here at the falcons in a Prem 7's competition. We were the local guest invitation side.

He wasnt impressed...so i stayed out on the wing for the rest of the game... Laugh Erm


Last edited by GeordieFalcon on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 3:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Mr Bounce on Fri 06 Nov 2020, 3:12 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:I put in a cracking hit on Tim Rodber once in a 7s competition up here at the falcons in a Prem 7's competition. We were the local guest invitation side.

He wasnt impressed...so i stayed out on the wing for the rest of the game... Laugh Erm

Probably extremely wise!! Laugh

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Post by Yoda on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 12:31 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Has he ever played there for Worcester? Seen him cover at lock. Not a huge fan of throwing someone into what is a specialist position for the scrum. Was it France this year where we had an advancing scrum on 5 metres and Curry lost control of it? Can of course happen even to the best number 8s but i'd rather that job was learnt in club rugby.

That would be my only concern about the switch in position but Eddie has the nations Cup to try these things out. If Ted Hill can add more than Billy then great but you need a rugby brain to be an eight and I don't know much about him to know if he has the mental capacity to succeed in that position. Any wuss fans on here who can help?

He should also give slade some game time at 12 as the Italy match gave him about 3 carries in total. I agree with geordie that his attributes actually are suited at 12 and a more physical speciman should run at space in the 13 channel when he plays there. It seems more successful for England teams over the years rather than the other way round. Catt and greenwood inside tindal etc. Hitting the gain line at outside centre on phase ball needs a fast backrow and we've got that and stretches defences more opening up both sides of the pitch where you're 10 and 12 can work either side of the pitch to really put the defensive line under pressure. I like my 15s to free to roam and find space in attack so having the 10 and 12 pivoting the phase play imo gives more flexibility and tends to suit the way NH forwards like to operate (saracens excluded). However I would say that being a wasps fan and we know who's been more successful out of us and the Saracens! If we decide to play like saracens and the all blacks with a playmaker at 15 who would England put there that could fill the role like beauden or goode?

Perhaps we should use the tactics of South Africa, where you pick 15 massive lads and tell them to play one way only. Like that works...oh hang on! Sad


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Post by BamBam on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 1:12 pm

Think Furbank is the hope for the playmaker at full back, I hope he gets a good run with the team performing better.

Watson is out for this weekend, so keeping Furbank at FB, Thorley on the wing would be the way I go

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 2:21 pm

It will be interesting as Daly is back along with Marler

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 07 Nov 2020, 4:21 pm

Would be pretty telling if Malins isn't involved again especially at georgia. So many options available it might actually reveal Jones' thoughts quite a bit on development.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 08 Nov 2020, 11:35 am

“Everyone has to earn their spot. We are picking players for Test rugby, not giving out caps willy-nilly. One of the most fascinating parts of the job is to see how newcomers adapt to training with us. Some are growing and some are shrinking.”

Jones on the Georgia game.

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Post by Gooseberry on Sun 08 Nov 2020, 11:54 am

Quote on the BBC is that they will be "picking the best 23" so as above pretty clear that any players in will be there because they are seen as the best to win that game, not to "give someone a go" or as purely development spots.

Id still say that leaves a big question around a reserve fly half if ford remains injured. Even if Farrell starts there could still be one on the bench, but Jones hasn't been afraid to risk only having the likes of Slade as cover in the past. If Mallins or Umaga do get a spot its a huge indication that they are seen as players with a real potential to take England to another level.

The 23 will still be a bit piece meal because of the vast number of experienced players injured.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 08 Nov 2020, 1:06 pm

Jones was likening playing professional rugby to the education system, premiership level is a degree but international rugby requires a lot more leaning as is the rugby equivalent of a PHD Masters degree.

I wonder how Haskell would have got on with that.

What he was saying overall is that you have to earn you chance at being and England player and until he thinks that you are better or at least the equivalent of the incumbent, you will not be playing unless he is injured. Presumably that would lead to a player taking the spot of an injured player becomes the incumbent and the injured player then has to reprove himself to get his spot back.

I can see the logic, but it is not a very forward thinking game plan.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 10:12 am

Aw well i guess we better get used to Bill V continuing at 8 until he gets injured then Curry deputizing there.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 10:18 am

Reading a bit more on the comments. He said something similar before the Japan game, then made 11 changes. We had a torrid time in the first half of that game while Nigel Owen's decided whether the laws mattered but then put in a good second half.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 10:46 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I can see the logic, but it is not a very forward thinking game plan.

I totally disagree. That's exceptional coaching and cuts through all the hubris that one is prone to fall in to by absorbing the media hyping up the next big thing in the Premiership because they're selling a 'product' i.e. subscriptions to their channel. It also cuts through myopia and not looking beyond your own borders. The Premiership isn't the be all and end all, certainly not by the time you're in mid table, but even for the Saracens of this world it can be deceptive given the (relative) lack of competition and intensity week on week. Ireland tend to find that out when they get to World Cups - their players aren't used to playing regularly because they're so pampered and saved for tests/Europe. English rugby at least hardens players at least in terms of durability but the standard cannot be naturally equated to who 'deserves' to play test rugby.

I like that system. You have to prove you're better than the man you're replacing. No flavour of the week. It also encourages positive selection: rather than the incumbent worrying about getting dropped and underperforming, it takes the pressure off them. And that's the real issue: building a core group of players who actually play the test matches.

You should cherish EJ while he's here. I was a critic for a while but he's ironed out his weak spots and he's the top coach in test rugby now. The perfect marriage between country and coach. You tried the selection merry go round in the decade or so after 2003 and it invariably failed miserably: Lancaster's England had great depth, 30-40 'decent' test players, but so few 'greats'. EJ will produce a great England team again.

There does seem to be some weird undervaluing of Underhill by the English. Namely by those pushing for Willis to be included. He's your best player in my opinion and your future captain.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 11:51 am

Personally I've never been one for dropping your best players because they're too much better than the reserves.

For me the questions come more about the assessments of how good the first choice players are currently, notably around the half back options . Ignoring that Youngs got MOTM and nominated player of the tournament for the 6 nations I find it hard to keep seeing Heinz as the sub if nothing else because he's like 43 or something.

And if Ford is unavailable is it worth carrying the risk of having Slade as the backup flyhalf? Or could you just stick a regular 10 on the bench even if you don't think hes worth starting?

As a general thing though England have not been short of capped players over the Jones ear in spite of his general preference for continuity. There wouldve been a big bunch handed out over the summer too, and I would've completely bought into him using the Italy and Georgia games to fill that gap.

Still we see a lot of very raw teenage / early 20 players getting into training squads. The likes of Curry break through more quickly than they might've done in the days when they had to serve an period in a completely separate squad and playing "tests" at a lower level than the club game. Having kids like Umaga training with the seniors is every bit as important as chucking them into a joke game that ultimately wont prove anyones good enough to cut it at the level England aspire to be.

Would you want to be the one that tells Vunipola he's getting benched because he's fit?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 12:09 pm

Vunipola and Youngs are professional enough not to kick up a stink surely. Both have been struggling for form for a fair while now.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 1:26 pm

You should always try to play your strongest team...However with the amount of games over the year, its clever to manage the health of your top players correctly as well.

If you have a few games where the opposition allow it...its worth looking at a few of you high performing kids etc.

When else do you get a chance?

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 1:37 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Vunipola and Youngs are professional enough not to kick up a stink surely. Both have been struggling for form for a fair while now.

Perceived by some, but not all. Vunipola is some way off his absolute best - but then that standard is phenomenal.

As to Lenny, I cannot comment too much due to possible bias, except to suggest that Eddie and his stats team do not see the same lack of form. The perception of his slow delivery is not helped by teh fact that now he gets to the breakdowns considerably quicker than any other English SH and our support guys at times are a bit slow getting ready and providing an option for the SH to pass to.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 1:40 pm

Maybe its true that Youngs is on form. Depressing thought.

Bar that it's an interesting staf that LT, one I think I've seen you use before. Presumably that's one from the prem and one I can believe, The obvious point to stats though is the interpretation and needing to know a little bit more regarding style of play, how many rucks a team creates in a game etc etc. Stats are useful to back points of course however watching England play at the moment there seems to be a complete absence of speed when we need it. When Youngs has been at his best in the past for England we've seen the uplift of tempo and he's known when to slow it. Now it seems like slow slow slow barring a few points in the Italy where he took a quick tap.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 2:11 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:You should always try to play your strongest team...However with the amount of games over the year, its clever to manage the health of your top players correctly as well.

If you have a few games where the opposition allow it...its worth looking at a few of you high performing kids etc.

When else do you get a chance?

The players have a maximum number of games they can play in the season, its the clubs that suffer under the EPS not the test team though. They have also not long had an unprecedented break too, so whilst the current autumn/winter schedule is hectic they have come off a rest and will be managed through the spring.

As for the when ...well exactly as described above. When players are injured. When the coaches deem they are better options. And it wouldve happened in the Summer tour had it not been for covid when the world cup players were all guaranteed the summer off, and there should be another opportunity during the lions tour. The Barbarians game also wouldve given an opportunity. Not just for the sake of it.

And Jones has capped a number of standout young players like Hill and Curry.

Now I accept theres a difference of opinion about some of the positions like 8 and the half backs that could do with freshening up, but I dont buy the argument that Jones should be capping players for the sake of it. I would say on the fly half and back row there are players knocking on the door now and having performed exceptionally at club level to pressure those spots. So I would far from be upset to see one given a go, I just respect that Jones is basing his decisions on an assessment of who is the best for the job not just on a dogmatic desire to blood young players at the expense of developing his first choice team.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 2:14 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Vunipola and Youngs are professional enough not to kick up a stink surely. Both have been struggling for form for a fair while now.

Perceived by some, but not all. Vunipola is some way off his absolute best - but then that standard is phenomenal.

As to Lenny, I cannot comment too much due to possible bias, except to suggest that Eddie and his stats team do not see the same lack of form. The perception of his slow delivery is not helped by teh fact that now he gets to the breakdowns considerably quicker than any other English SH and our support guys at times are a bit slow getting ready and providing an option for the SH to pass to.

Its not just his stats team, its also the person who gave him MOTM in the last test and the one who nominated him for player of the tournament. Now as much as those things can be caveated theres also a counter that maybe some people get a bit rigid in their thinking when they have in in for a player...even to the point where they are "depressed" by the idea that a player might be doing a good job.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 2:18 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Vunipola and Youngs are professional enough not to kick up a stink surely. Both have been struggling for form for a fair while now.

Perceived by some, but not all. Vunipola is some way off his absolute best - but then that standard is phenomenal.

As to Lenny, I cannot comment too much due to possible bias, except to suggest that Eddie and his stats team do not see the same lack of form. The perception of his slow delivery is not helped by teh fact that now he gets to the breakdowns considerably quicker than any other English SH and our support guys at times are a bit slow getting ready and providing an option for the SH to pass to.

Its not just his stats team, its also the person who gave him MOTM in the last test and the one who nominated him for player of the tournament. Now as much as those things can be caveated theres also a counter that maybe some people get a bit rigid in their thinking when they have in in for a player...even to the point where they are "depressed" by the idea that a player might be doing a good job.

I don't think I'm that rigid in my assessment of him to be fair Gooseberry, the depression comes from that may be the best he can play with no room for improvement. I was impressed by his break and his quick tap against Italy. nothing else look great to me. Slow, wobbly passing, accuracy of kicking and his choice to kick too much (which may have been a strong tactical don not pass instruction by Jones). What impressed you from Youngs in the last game/past year?

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Post by king_carlos on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 3:05 pm

As we know with Jones he likes players to break their back to adjust their games to how he wants to play. Youngs did that hence he continues being a favourite. Jones told him to lose weight, get to the ruck quicker and play to England's kick chase game. He did it and in my opinion is still better set to carry out that game plan than any other option.

Robson is a good player but I wouldn't say his passing or kicking game is on par with Youngs. His running game is better now that Lenny has slowed down but given how little room there is around the fringes against the top sides these days scrum-halves don't snipe much. Robson reminds me a lot of Care.

The best 9s (Dupont, Faf, Nagare, Smith, Perenara for me) have a brilliant pass and excellent decision making. I still think Youngs is the best of underwhelming options for both of those. Though I do think Mitchell is very talented.

Dupont and Perenara are excellent runners but it's seen more in support play and counterattacking these days than around the fringes. Faf is an outstanding defender in the Boks blitz where he's allowed to roam. Those things are less influential for their sides than their service and decision making though.

It's a position where England need to evolve but I don't think there are a lot of players throwing their hand up to demand the chance. Unlike several other positions.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 09 Nov 2020, 5:24 pm

From a neutral perspective, Youngs is fine. The fans only notice him more because of his position i.e. it's 'easy' to see every minor mistake a scrum half makes because the sole focus is on them, stationary, and zoomed in with the camera from ruck to ruck. They also do a lot of obvious things with the ball, as opposed to positioning for forwards who maybe touch the ball 3 times in open play in 80 mintes. People don't watch other players off the ball unless they have coached or maybe if it's their own position i.e. they naturally are drawn to that player. That's why the fairweather fan is so critical of half backs, kickers etc. It's easy to analyse any and all mistakes.

For my money, he's been fine. A solid international player. Never top class, just very solid. Good. 6.5-7.5/10.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 7:01 am

The Georgia captain, Merab Sharikadze, has described Eddie Jones’s ploy of selecting nine forwards as “quite weird”, playing down its significance having come up against the tactic when England’s head coach was in charge of Japan.

Jones has often talked of how he anticipates a rise of “hybrid” players, capable of playing in either the pack and the backline, and over the weekend he hinted he may select nine forwards against the powerful Georgians at Twickenham on Saturday.

In 2015, shortly before the World Cup, Jones fielded the No 8 Hendrik Tui on the wing in Japan’s 13-10 win over Georgia and Ben Earl could potentially be deployed in the same way on Saturday. Jones has also touted Jack Nowell as an auxiliary flanker in the past.

Reflecting on the 2015 contest, Sharikadze said: “That was quite weird. Obviously it was some kind of tactic. You don’t notice it that much as an opponent. Maybe you notice it more as the team who has an extra forward on your wing. We just need to concentrate on ourselves more than our opponents. To be honest, I wouldn’t say it was a big difference.”

From the guardian but the quotes are in a few places. Sounds like Jones normal distraction tactics but geordie may just get his wish of Earl at 12. He would be a better net than Bergamasco at 9 too.

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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 8:09 am

Ben Curry at 9 was the hint at the start of the year.

Not sure that would cheer 7.5 up or not

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 8:27 am

What impressed you from Italy with Youngs then Gooseberry?

Unfortunately Ben isn't in the squad so guess Earl will have to do. I can't see it being any more than something to talk about to the media.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 8:41 am

We were far from great against Italy so I hope we go in strong with the odd change.

From a personal point of view, I'd like to see Malins and Willis get a good run out and maybe Dombrandt at a push. Furbank is bang average and out of form, I really hope we shift him out asap.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 9:06 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:We were far from great against Italy so I hope we go in strong with the odd change.

From a personal point of view, I'd like to see Malins and Willis get a good run out and maybe Dombrandt at a push. Furbank is bang average and out of form, I really hope we shift him out asap.
Dombrandt has been released from the squad now Sarge. The guys below are the back row options now. Curry and Earl presumably the number 8 cover.

6.T Curry, T Hill, J Willis
7.Underhill, Earl, Ludlam
8.Vunipola

I wonder who Wilson will replace when fit again. If it's Willis then a few pundits will have meltdowns.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 9:28 am

king_carlos wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:We were far from great against Italy so I hope we go in strong with the odd change.

From a personal point of view, I'd like to see Malins and Willis get a good run out and maybe Dombrandt at a push. Furbank is bang average and out of form, I really hope we shift him out asap.
Dombrandt has been released from the squad now Sarge. The guys below are the back row options now. Curry and Earl presumably the number 8 cover.

6.T Curry, T Hill, J Willis
7.Underhill, Earl, Ludlam
8.Vunipola

I wonder who Wilson will replace when fit again. If it's Willis then a few pundits will have meltdowns.

Ludlam would be the obvious choice, for me, if indeed it happens.
Robson surely has to start against Georgia. I would start Willis but you just feel that because he has been so highly rated & touted last season, winning every possible award going that EJs ( with his MO) will just let him wait.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 9:43 am

Ludlam would be my choice to miss out if Wilson regains fitness. I just feel he hasn't been at his best form since the restart but few have at Saints. I would be a tough call though given he has done little wrong and a fair bit right in his England appearances.

Ludlam is another back row who slots pretty seamlessly into the England kick chase game which Curry and Underhill are now integral to. Earl is rapid and Ludlam quick too so both slot into pressuring kicks well. It's not pretty but it's how we've played under Eddie and it's been effective overall.

I'm not as convinced by Willis as some but also fascinated to see how/if his game transfers into the England back row.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 10:05 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:

Jones has often talked of how he anticipates a rise of “hybrid” players, capable of playing in either the pack and the backline,

Sounds like Jones normal distraction tactics but geordie may just get his wish of Earl at 12.

Its Simmonds i want at 12. Earl can stay in the back row.

On the Hybrid thing...more and more Union is becoming like League. In fact id be amazed if in 20 to 50 years time it didnt all merge again to one code....

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 11:35 am

[quote="GeordieFalcon"]
No 7&1/2 wrote:
On the Hybrid thing...more and more Union is becoming like League. In fact id be amazed if in 20 to 50 years time it didnt all merge again to one code....

I hope not - I can't see League wanting to bring the ruck and scrum back, and those are things I'd hate to lose.

That said, the way the academies have been working for the last few years, it's hardly surprising that we are seeing the rise of hybrid players. They select primarily based on speed and skill, and get players to specialise late - albeit with an eye on where they might end up. Kyle Sinckler famously played fullback and fly half as a youth player, but Quins always knew he would be too slow to play in the backs and were waiting (and hoping) that he would fill out enough to play in the pack.

It makes it even sadder that Jack Clifford was forced to retire before we got a chance to see what he could really do internationally - an 8 who could run and distribute like a centre. We'll see more of those over time.
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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 12:20 pm

Croft hanging put on the wing, Banahan, Sam Burgess.
Its not like Jones is suggesting anything genuinely revolutionary here. In the absence of his big physical backs it makes some sense. But equally as the Georgia coach suggested it may just be him trolling, although i would've expected that to start with the more difficult opponents.


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Post by Cumbrian on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 12:32 pm

I don't know, I think I would rather they played Georgia without the gimmicks. What is being said here? England can't deal with the power of the Georgian forwards? I would be very disappointed if that was the case.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 1:06 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:

Jones has often talked of how he anticipates a rise of “hybrid” players, capable of playing in either the pack and the backline,

Sounds like Jones normal distraction tactics but geordie may just get his wish of Earl at 12.

Its Simmonds i want at 12. Earl can stay in the back row.

On the Hybrid thing...more and more Union is becoming like League. In fact id be amazed if in 20 to 50 years time it didnt all merge again to one code....

Ah sorry. I must have them in my head as a bit interchangeable, similar strengths.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 2:36 pm

Kaino, McCaw and Read were one of the most 'traditional' back rows in recent times but were famous for playing in attack with Kaino and Read hanging out wide on either wing then McCaw, Thorn, Woodcock, Franks, Whitelock, etc doing the yards in the middle. Good luck stopping either Kaino or Read off loading if they get room basically.

Nineties back rows such as Skinstad and Dallaglio (prior to injury and slowing down) that broke through in Sevens were similar to what Jones is describing as well I'd say.

I don't think Jones is serious about the hybrid thing beyond perhaps cover for a group game in the World Cup. Similar to Brits playing back row for South Africa against Namibia. Maybe he'd use Earl on the wing or Nowell at flanker in an emergency to cover without replacing a player he hopes will be fit for the knockouts.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 4:41 pm

king_carlos wrote:Kaino, McCaw and Read were one of the most 'traditional' back rows in recent times but were famous for playing in attack with Kaino and Read hanging out wide on either wing then McCaw, Thorn, Woodcock, Franks, Whitelock, etc doing the yards in the middle. Good luck stopping either Kaino or Read off loading if they get room basically.

Nineties back rows such as Skinstad and Dallaglio (prior to injury and slowing down) that broke through in Sevens were similar to what Jones is describing as well I'd say.

I don't think Jones is serious about the hybrid thing beyond perhaps cover for a group game in the World Cup. Similar to Brits playing back row for South Africa against Namibia. Maybe he'd use Earl on the wing or Nowell at flanker in an emergency to cover without replacing a player he hopes will be fit for the knockouts.

Don't be forgetting May now. He was packing down in the scrum again against Italy when Hill was having 10.

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 5:40 pm

Cumbrian wrote:I don't know, I think I would rather they played Georgia without the gimmicks.  What is being said here?  England can't deal with the power of the Georgian forwards?  I would be very disappointed if that was the case.

The game evolves and coaches need to innovate or get left behind.

FirstXV (the paid for bit of RugbyPass) has a good article on how the All Blacks have tried to change their game over the last 18 months by playing Beauden Barrett at fullback and shifting to more mobile, ball playing props - both of which they believe were inspired by NH teams, specifically Daly at fullback and props like Mako, Sinckler and Furlong. But equally, they note that those experiments haven't always succeeded - Barrett and Mo'unga has sometimes worked and sometimes fallen flat. The AB props have sacrificed power and strength for mobility and handling and are suffering against all weather props like the ones above.

Eddie, arguably more than anyone else, is always looking for the next thing. Some of them work, some of them don't, but he's not afraid to try them. How many losses and near misses did we get while Daly was developing as a fullback? Was that a worthwhile trade for the RWC Final run?

I'd rather he tried his ideas against the likes of Georgia where they can be assessed ahead of trying them with tougher opposition.
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Post by Gooseberry on Tue 10 Nov 2020, 5:59 pm

Yeah but also Bergamasco at 9

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